Choerilus of Iasus

Choerilus of Iasus (Greek: Χοιρίλος) was an epic poet of Iasus in Caria, who lived in the 4th century BC. He accompanied Alexander the Great on his campaigns as court-poet. He is well known from the passages in Horace according to which he received a piece of gold for every good verse he wrote in celebration of the glorious deeds of his master.[1] The quality of his verses may be estimated from the remark attributed to Alexander, that he would rather be the Thersites of Homer than the Achilles of Choerilus. The epitaph on Sardanapalus, said to have been translated from the Chaldean,[2] is generally supposed to be by Choerilus.[3]


  1. ^ Chisholm 1911 cites Epistles, ii. 1, 232; Ars Poetica, 357
  2. ^ Chisholm 1911 notes quoted in Athenaeus, viii. p. 336
  3. ^ Chisholm 1911.


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Choerilus". Encyclopædia Britannica. 6 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 260. In this article, he is the third poet named Choerilus discussed. This article cites
    • G. Kinkel (1877). Epicorum Graecorum Fragmenta. p. i.
    • August Ferdinand Näke (1817). De Choerili Samii Aetate Vita et Poesi aliisque Choerilis. where the above poet is carefully distinguished from the others of the same name
    • Pauly-Wissowa (1899). Realencyclopädie der Classischen Altertumswissenschaft. iii. p. 2.
    • Walsh, J. (2011) “The Lamiaka of Choerilus of Iasos and the Genesis of the term ‘Lamian War,’” CQ 61.2: 538–44.
Astronomica (Manilius)

The Astronomica (Latin: [as.troˈno.mi.ka] or [as.trɔˈnɔ.mɪ.ka]), also known as the Astronomicon, is a Latin didactic poem about celestial phenomena, written in hexameters and divided into five books. The Astronomica was written c. AD 30–40 by a Roman poet whose name was likely Marcus Manilius; little is known of Manilius, and although there is evidence that the Astronomica was probably read by many other Roman writers, no surviving works explicitly quote him.

The earliest work on astrology that is extensive, comprehensible, and mostly intact, the Astronomica describes celestial phenomena, and, in particular, the zodiac and astrology. The poem—which seems to have been inspired by Lucretius's Epicurean poem De rerum natura—espouses a Stoic, deterministic understanding of a universe overseen by a god and governed by reason. The fifth book of the Astronomica features a lacuna, which has led to debate about the original size of the poem; some scholars have argued that whole books have been lost over the years, whereas others believe only a small section of the work is missing.

The poem was rediscovered c. 1416–1417 by the Italian humanist and scholar Poggio Bracciolini, who had a copy made from which the modern text derives. Upon its rediscovery, the Astronomica was read, commented upon, and edited by a number of scholars. Nevertheless, it failed to become as popular as other classical Latin poems and was neglected for centuries. This started to change during the early 20th century when, between 1903 and 1930, the classicist A. E. Housman published a critically acclaimed edition of the poem in five books. Housman's work was followed by the Latinist G. P. Goold's lauded English translation in 1977. Today, scholars consider the Astronomica to be highly technical, complicated, and occasionally contradictory. At the same time, many have praised Manilius's ability to translate highly technical astronomical concepts and complex mathematical computations into poetry.


Choerilus may refer to:

Choerilus (playwright), Greek writer of tragedies

Choerilus of Iasus, Greek epic poet

Choerilus of Samos, Greek epic poet

List of Ancient Greek poets

This list of Ancient Greek poets covers poets writing in the Ancient Greek language, regardless of location or nationality of the poet. For a list of modern-day Greek poets, see List of Greek poets.

List of ancient Greeks

This an alphabetical list of ancient Greeks. These include ethnic Greeks and Greek language speakers from Greece and the Mediterranean world up to about 200 AD.


Sardanapalus (; sometimes spelled Sardanapallus) was, according to the Greek writer Ctesias, the last king of Assyria, although in actuality Ashur-uballit II (612–605 BC) holds that distinction. Ctesias' book Persica is lost, but we know of its contents by later compilations and from the work of Diodorus (II.27). In this account, Sardanapalus, supposed to have lived in the 7th century BC, is portrayed as a decadent figure who spends his life in self-indulgence and dies in an orgy of destruction. The legendary decadence of Sardanapalus later became a theme in literature and art, especially in the Romantic era.

The name Sardanapalus is probably a corruption of Ashurbanipal, an Assyrian emperor, but Sardanapalus as described by Diodorus bears little relationship with what is known of that king, who in fact was a militarily powerful, highly efficient and scholarly ruler, presiding over the largest empire the world had yet seen.


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